fbpx

The Azeri Dance

Good piece in the New York Times today about Azerbaijan. azerimap102308.jpg

“Azerbaijan is doing a dance between the West and Russia,” said Isa Gambar, an Azeri opposition figure. “Until now, there was an unspoken consensus. Georgia was with the West, Armenia was an outpost of Russia, and Azerbaijan was in the middle.” But with the war in Georgia, Russia burst back into the region, humiliating Tbilisi and its sponsor, the United States, which issued angry statements but was powerless to stop Russia’s advance. It was a sobering sight for former Soviet states, and one that is likely to cause countries like Azerbaijan to recalibrate their policies. “The chess board has been tilted, and the pieces are shifting into different places,” said Paul Goble, an American expert on the region, who teaches at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku, the capital. “What looked balanced before does not look balanced now.”